Monday 16 September 2019

'It's a miracle he's still here' - Powerful tribute to Dubliner dad-of-one who fell seven storeys on Australian construction site

David Conway pictured with his daughter Keisha
David Conway pictured with his daughter Keisha

Sasha Brady

The friends and family of an Irishman who was critically injured in a fall at a construction site in Australia have created an inspiring video of his journey after he had two of his legs amputated.

Dad-of-one David 'Dodge' Conway (37) fell 20 metres from scaffolding on the seventh storey of a construction site in Brisbane, Australia in July.

David was resuscitated by workmates at the scene before critical care paramedics transported him to Gold Coast University Hospital.

David, originally from Rathcoole, Dublin, sustained life-changing injuries with the fall and underwent seven major operations and a double amputation.

"He had two legs amputated under the knee," his brother Stephen told

"He's still in Intensive Care and isn't really aware of what's going on. He's forgotten that his legs have been amputated.

David's with his wife Viv their daughter Keisha.
David's with his wife Viv their daughter Keisha.

"It's hard to gauge what exactly he's taking in. He's still has those phantom pains in his legs.

"But he's been talking. He's been giving out to the nurses so that's how you know he's okay.

"He even asked a friend of ours in Australia to put a tenner on McGregor to win the second round in the Mayweather fight."

Stephen explained that the impact of the fall, damaged David's heart, lungs and kidneys.

"His legs shot up through his body and ruptured his heart and punctured his lungs," said Stephen.

"He had to be pumped up with 50 litres of blood and had 12-hour operations over two or three days."

David was also on a dialysis machine to treat his kidneys and a few weeks ago he encountered problems with his pancreas.

"The doctors told us to expect the worst, that was about three or four weeks ago but thankfully he's over it now. He was also on antibiotics for a chest infection and recovered from that too.

"At the moment he's able to raise his arm. He's able to smile, talk and laugh a bit."

David's close-knit family, mother Connie, father Shay and brothers Richie and Stephen rushed to Australia to be with him after the accident.

His mother is still in Brisbane where she can take care of her son, alongside David's wife Viv, who is a nurse in the hospital where he's being treated, and their young daughter Keisha.

"He'll have to have prosthetic legs and it's a long road to recovery," explained Stephen.

"He could be in hospital for another year, it's hard to tell.

"For us, it's a miracle that he's still here. We're looking at the best possible situation of him living a happy and healthy life."

Stephen said the family have been overwhelmed by support from friends and strangers.

Close family friend, Tadhg Ennis, created a video with David's friends which tells the Rathcoole man's story.

It's also filled with messages of support, including scenes of friends lifting the Sam Maguire on the Millennium Bridge in Dublin in his honour, tribute tattoos and heartwarming stories of love.

"I really can't thank people enough," said Stephen.

"Muldowney's of Rathcoole had a benefit night where they told tickets for €5 and raised €11,5000. The Poitin Still raised close to €10,000 in one day for David. The Long Hall pub in New York, which is owned by a Ratchoole man, Jonathan Kennedy, they donated money on an auction and Jacob's Bar in Saggart did a whip around too.

"People have really been fantastic. Honestly, you'd nearly need to take a week off work to get back to all the messages."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News